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Aug 28, 2005
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God has rational behaviour and reason left this country completely, just because you car is powerful enough to tow at higher than average speeds doesn't mean you have to.

I find in shocking that we can drive outfit's that can easily weigh 5.5 tonne and be over 40 ft in total length yet we don't need any additional training, or a separate test, where one half of the outfit is subject to no test for safety and where the users probably only uses the outfit for a significantly smaller proportion of year and therefore experience is less.

No wonder we (caravaners) are cited we such contempt by other road users. The worrying thing is that smaller weighing vehicles have significantly better braking distances than larger vehicles coupled this with the ratio of a larger caravan being attached to the larger vehicle and this just exacerbates the issue.

Moreover I going to the CV show tomorrow it will be interesting to see how many are fitted ABS and other safety devices. ?

Regards Monkeys husband
 
Nov 2, 2005
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Monkeys husband

As you have said "just because you car is powerful enough to tow at higher than average speeds doesn't mean you have to".

The reverse is also correct you don't have tow at lower than average speeds.

And I was taught by an HGV driver.

Caravans are held in contempt not for speeding but the exact opposite I'm afraid.

If people want to drive fast, get points, get fines or hurt themselves that is their choice.
 
Aug 28, 2005
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Smiley, what I should have said is towing at the maximum legal speed is permissible where you and over road users safety is not put at risk. Your right making good progress is one of the main reasons people fail the HGV test apart from reversing).

I think more people have contempt for a van overturned, blocking lanes 1-2 because the driver thought he could "just get past the next lorry" than a van doing 40 on the A10

I can't condone the "If people want to drive fast, get points, get fines or hurt themselves that is their choice" . attitude, my family have the right to travel without people putting their lives at risk by doing just that

Regards Monkeys husband
 
Aug 31, 2005
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Mmm; I feel that 'Monkeys Husband' has got a wider issue really. He is clearly against all forms of unnecessary risk; especially those that involve vehicles. Reading his aguments carefully, one would have to say that his primary issue is nothing to do with caravans but a basic comtempt for law breaking in all its forms. This is highly laudable; whether it is realistic and whether this forum is the best posible outlet for such lofty ideals, is another issue.

John
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Smiley, what I should have said is towing at the maximum legal speed is permissible where you and over road users safety is not put at risk. Your right making good progress is one of the main reasons people fail the HGV test apart from reversing).

I think more people have contempt for a van overturned, blocking lanes 1-2 because the driver thought he could "just get past the next lorry" than a van doing 40 on the A10

I can't condone the "If people want to drive fast, get points, get fines or hurt themselves that is their choice" . attitude, my family have the right to travel without people putting their lives at risk by doing just that

Regards Monkeys husband
The reversing bit on the hgv test is the easy bit. It's the "not putting your trailer wheels on the kerb at a roundabout" then having a faultless drive and being issued with a fail at the end thats the hard bit!
 
Jan 19, 2008
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As far as I'm concerned, no matter what you are towing or towing with, if you are towing at 80mph and get caught the police should throw the book at you. It is a total disregard for others lives. If you need unnecessary risk go jump 12 buses on a motorbike where you only risk killing yourself. We have all seen them, the infallible ones, the it wont happen to me because I'm too good a driver. The laws of average say it will happen to you and like the ones who overtake on bends or before the brow of a hill it will eventually happen. The only thing is that when driving idiotically and taking chances the offender is tensed up ready for the unexpected. The person coming the other way minding their own business isn't and its normally them who perish. I'm sure Monkeys hubby isnt saying they are a stickler for the law but creeping over 60 and knowingly doing 80 is slightly different. After 28 years of front line ambulance work Ive seen the carnage, the death and sorrow and I'm not sorry to be out of it but of all the accidents I attended it was mainly the innocent who came off worse. It doesn't matter how good a driver you are everyone has that little lapse of concentration and by doing 60 instead of 80 gives you that advantage of coming out of an incident unscathed.
 
Aug 28, 2005
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Mmm; I feel that 'Monkeys Husband' has got a wider issue really. He is clearly against all forms of unnecessary risk; especially those that involve vehicles. Reading his aguments carefully, one would have to say that his primary issue is nothing to do with caravans but a basic comtempt for law breaking in all its forms. This is highly laudable; whether it is realistic and whether this forum is the best posible outlet for such lofty ideals, is another issue.

John
John if staying alive is a "lofty ideal" are have some more please. I'm all for a bit of adventure give me sports car racing round Brands any day but then like all the other competitors we all willing that's the difference.

Your right I pay enough to HM Government to feel I have the right of safe passage.
 
Aug 28, 2005
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Well done everything spot, on a more serious note you guys do a fantastic job I just hope unlike others we don't meet so to speak all the best

Kindest regards
 
Nov 1, 2005
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im pleased to see this turn into a sound discussion now,rather than just name calling.the point ive tried to make is that by overtaking another outfit at 70,or even 80mph in ideal conditions,while increasing the risk to myself as you say,does not really present a problem to the outfit being overtaken as was suggested in the first posting.one thing that does worry me about some 4x4s though(earlier landrover discoverys in particular)is the dangerous nose-up attitude that their vans are towed at.this must surely compromise braking stability.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Actually, the weight transfer to the back axle due to the caravan pushing the back end of the car down improves braking performance. Without this weight transfer, the front axle alone has to do most of the braking.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Before this turns into a 4x4 basharama, again, the nose up attitude of tow cars is not limited to 4x4s. It is limited to the person who did not check his/her draw bar weight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Actually, the weight transfer to the back axle due to the caravan pushing the back end of the car down improves braking performance. Without this weight transfer, the front axle alone has to do most of the braking.
True Lutz, but it does the steering no favours.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Actually, the weight transfer to the back axle due to the caravan pushing the back end of the car down improves braking performance. Without this weight transfer, the front axle alone has to do most of the braking.
The fact that a car has a nose up attitude does not necessarily indicate that there is insufficient load on the front axle. It may be the result of a soft suspension. Conversely, especially with cars with self levelling suspension, a car which is standing level may still have significantly less weight on the front axle when towing.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Seems we did misunderstand you Craig. I don't think I have come across nose up caravans before, are you trying to indicate that the tow ball is mounted too high on the car chassis? As long as the height is within current legislation and the draw bar provides adequate downforce, I don't see that much of a problem on a single axle caravan. On a twin axle, it is a different story, as a nose up or nose down condition means one pair of wheels are working much harder than the other. That should be easy to spot and rectify, which is probably why you don't see it often.

Sorry for the earlier confusion, blame Lutz, he's a right trouble maker

;o)

Oh wait, Lutz is bringing wine to the meet, salt of the earth that guy, no trouble at all...

I'll get me coat..
 
Apr 13, 2005
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Craig, i thought you meant the van being nose high which as you state is quite wrong. if a van is nose high then the wind which gets under the van from the front will have a much smaller area to escape from at the rear of the van this will result in the van lifting at the rear due to the pressure of the wind trying to escape obviously this meens the caravans wheels will be lifted and a snake is inevitable in most cases. a caravan should always be towed nose low as taught in towing courses by the clubs.
 
Nov 2, 2005
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Actually I did pass an outfit once where the van was very high at the front and th rear just clearing the ground.

I can't remeber the car, but I think it was down to very bad loading.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Me a trouble maker, Lol? Of course not.

I'm still going to bring wine to the meet, regardless :)

But while were on the subject ......

The attitude of the caravan has little affect on its stability. It's only the noseweight which counts. Icemaker's theory that a nose-up caravan is inherently unstable doesn't hold up to scrutiny. The airflow under the caravan is so much less than over the roof (partly because the towing vehicle breaks a good deal of the ground airflow before it reaches the caravan but also the remaining exposed frontal area of the caravan is so much more significant).
 
Jan 19, 2008
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Me a trouble maker, Lol? Of course not.

I'm still going to bring wine to the meet, regardless :)

But while were on the subject ......

The attitude of the caravan has little affect on its stability. It's only the noseweight which counts. Icemaker's theory that a nose-up caravan is inherently unstable doesn't hold up to scrutiny. The airflow under the caravan is so much less than over the roof (partly because the towing vehicle breaks a good deal of the ground airflow before it reaches the caravan but also the remaining exposed frontal area of the caravan is so much more significant).
Why should others go without, just dont give Lol any ;O)
 
Nov 1, 2005
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yes lutz,but the airflow over the roof has to travel further and therefore faster than the airflow underneath creating a pressure void and lift similar to an aircraft wing.but the reason i was told to tow nose down is to ensure a more constant load on the towball over undulations.incidentally,did you your can effectively weighs half as much at 75mph as it does at 40mph,thanks to this phenomenon,the name of which i cant recall?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If the caravan were shaped anything like an aerofoil you would be correct but it's really just a big box on wheels. The enormous pressure differential between the large frontal area of the caravan with its high centre and the void being dragged behind, coupled with the relatively low position of the towball, means that the front end will always try to lift up the faster you go. As the back end of the car is trying to lift up too, as you correctly point out, we have two phenomena which add up to create a potentiallly dangerous situation.

Aerodynamically, the ideal location for the towball would be roughly at roof height of the car.
 
Apr 13, 2005
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on both of the club courses that i have attended, one for myself and one to assist my wife we where told in great detail that a nose high attitude was very dangerous and both clubs gave airflow under the van as the reason for this danger. air has plenty of dispersal over the roof of the van but has a smaller area to disperse at the rear underneath of a nose high van. take a look at the section in the club book that shows the safe way to attach your van to your car, you find a big x through the nose high picture.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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At first sight, a nose-up attitude would tend to indicate that the noseweight is too low. However, if that isn't the case, in my view, the only justification to avoid such a condition would be to ensure enough ground clearance an the back of the caravan in case its suspension bottoms out on a bad road or over speed bumps, for example.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I would have to agree with Lutz on this one (dammit!) the towing vehicle would be pushing most of the air out of the way of the caravan, for instance, when a racing car (or lets face it, the average trucker) gets a tow in the vacuum left by the car in front.

It would still be undesirable to have a nose up attitude, for the fact that Lutz outlined, and that's the rear end being too close to the road, with disastrous consequences at road humps, or wherever there are different levels in the road, boarding ferries for example.

Speaking of which, make sure you put all that wine low down and to the centre of the van Lutz!
 

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